North American Pleistocene Landscape by Karen Carr

Shown: Mammoths, ruddy ducks, glyptodont, gopher tortoise and bison antiquas
Geologic period: Pleistocene


North American Pleistocene Landscape

During the Pleistocene, much of what is now the center of North America was a savanna, populated by megafauna like the mammoths and bison shown in Karen's "North American Pleistocene Landscape."

While mammoths, giant bison and the armadillo-like glyptodont have disappeared from North America, other animals shown in Karen's Pleistocene environment can still be seen, including the gopher tortoise and ruddy ducks. Many of the flowers and trees in Karen's mural can still be found, as well.

No single cause has been identified for the disappearance of these amazing animals from North America. While evidence exists to suggest an impact from an asteroid played a role in the decline of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period, no similar cataclysm has been identified for the Pleistocene. Instead, several factors—including weather changes, predation by man and "hyper-disease"—may all have played a role.

Other samples of work for Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History:

Client information:

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
2401 Chautauqua Avenue
Norman, OK

Karen in the classroom


— As a guest speaker or lecturer

In addition to the time she spends painting, Karen finds time now and again to serve as a guest speaker, lecturer and instructor to museum groups, professional organizations, schools and universities. She has also presented master classes in art and digital painting at universities in the U.S.

Karen has delivered recent presentations for these institutions and groups:

  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Guild of Natural Science Illustrators at the College of William & Mary and at Montana State University
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of North Texas
  • Dallas Paleontological Society


About Karen

Originally trained in the classical techniques of illustration and painting, Karen frequently speaks on the transition to a digital world, and on the challenges and benefits this transition poses for artists, clients and viewers. She conducts professional seminars on painting, illustration and digital image creation, and also offers specific programs tailored to the needs of professional groups or classroom instructors.

To contact Karen about a speaking engagement, just drop her a note or call her studio.

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